Published: Friday, February 26th, 2016

Chair blog: end of an era

 

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After five years as Chair of the Golden Jubilee Foundation, I am sorry to be stepping down in the middle of March. As some of you know I am standing for election to the Scottish Parliament and the rules on public appointments mean that I have to resign as Chair before the Parliamentary elections are held.  It is no exaggeration to say that resigning as Chair of this organisation was the hardest part of my decision to stand.

 

In the past several years, we have continued to evolve as the home of regional and national heart and lung services, a major centre for orthopaedics and one of the largest providers of cataract surgery in the UK, in addition to providing an award winning Diagnostic Imaging service and reducing waiting times in key specialities for Boards throughout Scotland.

 

The incredible developments and changes that have taken place during this time and the positive difference we are able to make to so many people all across Scotland has surpassed even our expectations. But I know that all of this has only been possible because of the talented and special people who work here and who, every day, do the very best job they can.  From the reception to the porters to the housekeeping staff, our catering and kitchen staff, booking office and admin, our nurses, radiologists, physios, dieticians and doctors and right through to our volunteers and senior leadership teams, every single person and the good job they do combine to make this Foundation so very much more than the sum of its parts.

 

It is a measure of the specialness of this place and its people that it is impossible to capture all the highlights of the past 6 years, our rapid expansion across our services has been an outstanding accomplishment. In 2011 we launched the Golden Jubilee Research Institute (previously the Beardmore Centre for Health Science) a state of the art research and clinical skills facility, allowing our Foundation to begin laying the groundwork for much of the cutting-edge research we have become known for in recent years.

 

Over the course of the last five years, our Orthopaedic service has increased its capacity on four occasions, now treating more patients than ever before and providing 25% of all hip and knee replacements for NHSScotland. The service continues to lead the way in enhanced recovery and pioneering technologies, including computer assisted surgery.

 

And in a further accolade, the success of the “Golden Jubilee Model” lead the Scottish Government to announce a further expansion to the hospital’s services as well as the creation of other centres, using our approach to help patients across Scotland to receive the highest standard of care possible.

 

Heart services at the hospital treat more patients than ever before, more than tripling the number of life saving heart transplants carried out in a year, leading in door to balloon time across the UK which reduces heart damage and long term effects on patients and playing a key role in groundbreaking research trials including the UK’s first gene therapy trial for heart failure and the PRAMI trial, which found preventative angioplasty, could save thousands of lives each year.

 

We have continued to grow our national and international reputation as a person centred organisation, receiving accolades such as the Healthy Working Lives Gold Award, Investors in People, Investors in Diversity and Investors in Volunteers.  Our patients have consistently noted a 98.7% positive engagement score, with 94% stating they considered the service “excellent” in the most recent inpatient survey.

 

All of that and I was delighted to be  the first NHS Chair to sign the NoBystanders pledge, alongside the Chief Executive, to wipe out bullying in the workplace.

 

Patients are at the heart of everything we do here, and always will be. But getting it right for our patients and guests is only possible if we get it right for our staff, demonstrably  and consistently valuing their work and commitment.  Without a diverse and values based workforce we can’t offer the highest possible standard of care for everyone who walks through our doors.

 

Since becoming Chair in 2010, I have been immensely proud of the huge  progress we have made here in every aspect of our work from the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, to the Hotel and International Conference Centre, our growing and international research contribution and work on clinical skills and more recently, our Innovation Centre - providing both a symbolic and a practical expression of the attitude and values that drive the service provided by you, every day, to every patient and guest.  It has been both an honour and at times a humbling experience, to contribute to your work and to our commitment to leading quality, research and innovation on behalf of the NHS in Scotland.

 

There is no doubt that I will miss being part of the Golden Jubilee Foundation but I hope, even from a distance, to continue to support and promote what you do here. I am confident that the Foundation will continue to  innovate and improve services and continue to be a safe, welcoming place for all of our patients and visitors.

 

I send you my very best wishes for your future success.

 

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